Programming for some people it is really a pain, for some its passion and for others it's just a job. Well my life experience has taught me that programming is a character, yeah!!! your character defines what kind of a programmer you are....
1. Search for Clues
Try to know what you want before you set out to do anything. The web has evolved a lot, there is usually a 99% chance that you might get some kind of advice. Talk to other blokes who have done it. When building something from scratch and you have not done it before it would be quite tough. The end result would look much better if you start with a clue.
2. Sharing is Caring
Open Source is a great thing. I know it looks a bit confusing in the beginning, but give it some time, try to use open source wherever possible. Also try to contribute something to the world of open source. The happiness you get once you have contributed something is well beyond explanation.
3.You never know until you try
Always give other technologies their due respect. The most common debates I've hear is about .Net VS Java. Sometimes other technologies may one day be of more use than you ever imagined. I once had the same experience with mySQL.
4.After cooking, always clean the kitchen
Always try to deliver code that works. Never rely on other programmers or QA's to get the code corrected. Always unit test code. This is the best way to be sure.
5.Don't be Nostalgic
Don't be afraid to replace, rewrite or re-factor code. Sentimental attachment to code will always bring you problems. If it does not work, never hesitate to throw it out of the window. Never ever love your code.
6. Be ready for change
People change, Technology does the same thing too, it changes. Be ready for it. Adapt to new technologies, new ways. Read blogs, articles, get into some tech forums, it helps you to keep your mind fresh. The day you feel programming is nothing but the same wheel turning round and round with different colors, that is the day you should think about switching into management or an entirely different career.
7.Don't be rude
Don't be a bully just because the kid sitting next to you uses Java or .NET or php, try to see what he is doing. You might also have the chance to learn something wonderful from him other than telling him how hilarious and hopeless his language is.
8.Life is not all about programming
Working all the time, will never ever make you productive. Try to get some fun in life, have a couple of beers, coz being stressed out and working all the time will only make matters worse. I have often solved problems by going out for a drive or by watching some TV, or spending sometime with my girlfriend
9.PS When going out in the real world do not forget there are traffic rules to be followed, T.V is meant to be enjoyed and when your girlfriend finishes talking you are supposed to say something back to her ;)
You won't learn if you don't try, everything I learnt is all from my life experience. Always keep and eye out for new Technology and always remember that just like the software you create, you also have a life...